Voices Magazine’s featured “Change Maker” Pete Betiku is a self-described entrepreneur, investor, motivational/public speaker, financial expert and Forex educator. He currently owns two companies and he specializes in teaching and helping people in the community learn about credit, business funding, how to raise capital, how to invest money in the Forex, aka currency market.
Born in Nigeria, Pete Betiku came to the United States when he was only 8 years old. Leaving his country rich with palm trees, grass, and a warm and sunny climate, he arrived in January, to a typical Minnesota winter. He jokes that it was hard to get him out of the airport when he first arrived. Mr. Betiku initially settled in St. Paul, eventually moving to Minneapolis, and then in his teens, settled in Plymouth MN where he attended High School.
“One of the first things I noticed” he said, “was having to be conscious of my race, and realizing that I was for once different from the common person in this country. This was a new experience for me. I had never had to think of it before.” As Pete got older, that awareness became more prevalent and he really began to notice and be more aware of how much his race actually influenced his experiences as a developing young black man. Despite his new racial self-awareness after coming to the US, he does not remember having experienced blatant racism or discrimination, “unless it happened and I was not aware of it” he says.
As Mr. Betiku worked hard throughout his life to achieve success, he says one of the biggest challenges was knowing who to trust. “They say that the people closest to you are the ones who are most capable of hurting you. You have to be really careful with the circle you keep, especially in business, and be ready to adjust to any situation that may come your way.”
Mr. Betiku feels that growing up in the US inspired him to learn at a young age that in this country, you can be anything in the world that you dream of–you just have to dream it and take action. “The American Dream does exist, “he says, “but it comes with a lot of hard work and determination.” Mr. Betiku was also inspired and strongly influenced by his own father’s example of hard work and helping others. Mr. Betiku says that when he was growing up in Minneapolis their apartment was like a “truck stop” because his father who was, and still is a Pastor, was always welcoming people into their home, even the “drunkards and drug dealers”. But his father’s example of helping others stays with him to this day.
One of Mr. Betiku’s biggest successes was starting his own business and eventually becoming a fulltime entrepreneur in 2010. Since then Mr. Betiku has been teaching about Business, Finance, Investing and Personal Development and also running monthly financial seminars free of charge.
He attributes his success to the, “Most High for giving me the knowledge and wisdom to be a creator and a visionary”. Pete Betiku is a spiritual man who often reads the bible for guidance. Ecclesiastes 7:12 is a favorite passage that he quotes, “Wisdom is the shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this: Wisdom preserves those who have it”.
When asked about his future aspirations, Mr. Betiku says he wants to be a well-rounded philanthropist. My hope is that our community will learn to work together to help each other succeed rather than try to compete.
To stay on track and focused on his goals, Mr. Betiku works out four to five times a week and meditates once a week. He says he is always learning and studying to work towards continuously expanding his knowledge. When he has free time, he prefers movies over TV shows. He eats very healthy and laughs often. He does not let stress take over his life. He says, “I have great parents who are very supportive, and a beautiful son. I listen to motivational material every single day. Read the good book and study what’s in it.”
When asked what advice he would give to other immigrants, Mr. Betiku offers that
“First, in order to succeed, you have to be flexible, and think both as a local and as an immigrant. Learn to take advantage of the opportunities that this country has to offer. In Africa, you worry about surviving, and don’t focus so much on the bills. Here, you are always working, bills almost run your life, so you have to be on top of things and produce, or else you will be hungry.”
Second, he says, “Stay away from the gossipers. You are the average of the people you spend the most time with, so why not spend your precious time around people who will help you grow as a person? After all, you cannot get wasted time back”.
Mr. Betiku’s third piece of advice is to “mind your own business”. Fourth, he says to “learn to embrace failure.” One of Mr. Betiku’s favorite quotes is by Tyrese Gibson which says, “Every setback is a setup for a comeback”. Mr. Betiku says, “Failures and disappointments make you grow. Plus, it creates your testimony to share later on once you succeed.” Mr. Betiku says his last but not least, piece of advice, is to “surround yourself with people who want to see you win. People that you can learn from and you can push each other.”
If you ask Pete Betiku what makes him a Change Maker he tells you, “I learned from my parents at a young age that helping others succeed brings you fulfilment and joy. There is a certain satisfaction in watching others win and knowing that you contributed (even in the smallest way) to their success. It’s gratifying. This is success in itself.”
Mr. Betiku will also tell you that no one ever achieves success or becomes a Change Maker alone. There are always people along the way offering help and support.
He wants to make sure he gives thanks “to all who have supported me. A special thank you to my mom and dad (Paul and Cecelia Betiku), My son Noah, Paul Jones (JMG Networth). Pastor Judah Martin, Kristin Kultz, Muzafter Najfi, Keith Snelson Teresia Nyabando, and Dr. Mark Holder. Thanks also to my brand partners Caesar Jackson, Bryan Dupuis, Jamie Wynne, Daniel Colbia Rodney Owens, Rande Smith, Larry Mobley, Thomas Lofton, Teresia Nyabando, Nokuthula Segbee, Kenny Grady, Evan Johnson, Brandon Matlock and Dana Kidd my business and Co- Owner of our Forex Currency trading company”.